Posted: Monday – July 6, 2009

Def Jam recordings is a record label founded by Rick Rubin in a dorm room of New York University. It is the label that once put out legends such as LL Cool J, Run DMC, and Public Enemy. Twenty something years later, Def Jam is now the label that has put Method Man, Redman, and Joe Budden on the back burner, and puts out acts such as F.L.Y (“Fast Life Yungstaz”). I have always been one to say Hip Hop is not dead. In fact I’ve always thought Hip Hop is far from it. The problem is mainstream rap music. The trends, the clothes, the “swag,” are all marketing ploys to gain sales. I understand it is a music business, but why should the business overshadow the music. This is the problem when listening to F.L.Y’s debut album Jamboree. It is an obvious ploy to sell ringtones and things of that nature.

Now I hate to start a review with what sounds to be hatred. But I love Hip Hop to the point that I give every emcee a chance. But when my first impression of you is a straight jack move on another controversial “emcee”, Soulja Boy, what can you really expect. First of all, how many songs do we need about swag? Secondly, what exactly is Swag Surfin? And lastly, why do all three of these guys flow like Soulja Boy? It’s as if Soulja Boy made clones of himself… but worse.

These guys are the epitome of a gimmick. Their fruity loop sounding beats are nothing special either. All of their songs are reminiscent to other mainstream artists. For example, Party Time sound like a remix to Shop Boyz’ Party Like A Rockstar, especially with the use of the words “narly” and “dude.” Across The Globe has Sammie crooning as if he was still singing on Kiss Me Thru The Phone.

Another problem is the execution of some of the songs. Every song sounds like a party joint. There is a time and a place for everything, and if the song calls for a certain type of track, that’s what you have to give it. For example the song Better Days, which is obviously about holding on in life, has an upbeat party sound to it. It does not match the concept at all. This is how you can tell these guys are probably not really artists, just people who were given a microphone.

There is nothing else to really say about this album. It is so bad that there are not enough words to express it. From the beat selection, to the recycled concepts, to the gimmicks, this group’s career has already be done, quite a few times, before they got the chance. The ringtone rap music will see its downfall, and when these guys 5 minute career ends along with the other ringtone rappers, maybe the phrase “Hip Hop is dead” will die.

- By Hakim Hill